Massachusetts advanced a step Monday in its reopening plan. Here’s what changed.

Joseph Schanda Jr., owner of Paul Revere Restaurant in Medford, mops the floors inside his restaurant Sunday after making changes to allow for social distancing between diners as he prepares to open under the state's newly relaxed COVID-19 guidelines. Jessica Rinaldi / The Boston Globe

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BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts eased some coronavirus restrictions on businesses Monday, making it much easier to grab dinner and a show.

But health experts warn that lifting restrictions now as new confirmed cases of the virus and hospitalizations decline may lead to more misery down the road.

Restaurant capacity limits have been lifted entirely, but parties must be spaced 6 feet apart with a maximum of six diners per table, and a 90-minute limit per stay, Gov. Charlie Baker announced last week. Restaurants will also be allowed to host musical performances.

Indoor performance venues including theaters are allowed to open at 50% capacity, with a maximum of 500 people.


Capacity limits across all businesses have been raised to 50%.

Dr. Robert Horsburgh, a Boston University professor of epidemiology, said the state is reopening too fast.

“Opening up these restaurants is going to prolong the epidemic, and increase the number of Massachusetts residents that die,” he told The Boston Globe.

The city of Boston is being a little more cautious that the state as a whole.

Indoor performance venues and indoor higher-contact recreational activities will remain closed until March 22. The city also won’t allow live musical performances in restaurants until then.


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